Downtown Danville's Top 10
1. Play Nice
See a play at one of our theaters. Pioneer Playhouse, Danville's outdoor theater. Actors who have graced the Pioneer Playhouse stage include John Travolta, Lee Majors, Jim Varney and Bo Hopkins. The 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts hosts an array of performances and events for Centre College and Danville-Boyle County. Named after its founder, the West T. Hill Community Theatre has been performing plays and musicals in Danville for 30 years.
2. Experience Beauty
By providing art education and exhibits, the Community Arts Center has become an epicenter for Danville's art community. Located in the city's downtown area, the center is a non-profit facility that offers classes in dance, music and visual arts. In addition, workshops are available, focusing on everything from fabric patterns to painting to belly dancing. Those who visit the Community Arts Center can also enjoy exhibits, performances and various events. The Jones Visual Arts Center, located on the Centre College campus, is home to the studio and gallery of glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell.
3. Think Small
Make a trip to the Great American Doll Museum to see hundreds of miniature collectibles and more than 200 dollhouses. Exhibits include a complete miniature town circa 1910, and a fantasy land with fairies, elves, witches and trolls. The museum is open Tuesdays-Saturdays.
4. View History
Visit Constitution Square State Historic Site, where Kentucky's Constitution was signed in 1792. A visitors center at nearby Grayson's Tavern provides maps for self-guided tours to view attractions like log cabin meeting houses, a courthouse, jail, schoolhouse and an old post office building.
5. Shop and Eat
Spend a few hours shopping and dining in Historic Downtown Danville, which houses about 15 restaurants and 25 stores as well as galleries and museums. Also available are pubs, microbreweries and day spas.
6. Drink It In
Jane Barleycorn’s Market & Bar in Danville may not produce its own spirits, but it does a fine job educating the public on them, regularly offering classes on wine and spirits tasting. In XXX, Jane Barleycorn’s was listed on New York Times Top 100 Bourbon Bars. With a bar and shop that sells exceptional craft beer, spirits and fine wines, plus live music and a dinner bistro-style menu served Tuesday through Saturday evenings, Jane Barleycorn’s is a game changer when it comes to exploring new spirits and familiar favorites alike.
7. Toot Your Horn
Join in the fun at the Great American Brass Band Festival that occurs each June on the campus of Centre College. The free four-day event attracts bands from throughout the nation, and highlights include a Bayou & Brass New Orleans Style Friday Night Party.
8. Check Jacobs Hall
Learn about the early fundamentals of deaf education at Jacobs Hall Museum on the Kentucky School for the Deaf campus. Jacobs Hall was used from 1857-2002 as the residence for female deaf students, and many rooms at the museum have been restored to their 19th century look.
9. Tour the McDowell
Stroll through the gardens of McDowell House Museum and learn about Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who in 1809 performed surgery on Jane Todd Crawford for the removal of an ovarian tumor. The tumor weighed 22.5 pounds and was the first successful removal of an ovarian tumor in the world.
10. Get Glazed
Burke’s Bakery, a local icon, has been family-owned and operated since the 1930s, and in 2012 the central Kentucky bakery landmark made The New York Times Kentucky Doughnut Trail. This old-fashioned bakery’s art-deco lettering and small-town atmosphere may feel like you’ve been sent back in time, but try the town favorite donuts and your taste buds will awaken back to the present.